Employees at Welwyn Garden City restaurant offered choice between losing their job or unpaid leave

PUBLISHED: 20:05 30 June 2020 | UPDATED: 20:19 30 June 2020

Cooper's Grill House on Beehive Lane. Picture: Google Maps

Cooper's Grill House on Beehive Lane. Picture: Google Maps


King Arthur Inns Ltd, who own Cooper’s Grill House, had applied for the furlough scheme but were rejected, after which employees were given two choices: “to accept the unpaid leave option” or “no longer work for the company and seek employment elsewhere”.

In emails shown to the WHTimes, it shows the company told employees they had applied for the furlough scheme and sent out forms to them on March 21.

“We have since been awaiting acceptance into the Government furlough payment scheme. This has not happened.

“So to confirm, because the company have not received any furlough payments from the Government, it is unable to pass these onto you.”

You may also want to watch:

An employee of the company, who has asked not to be named, said: “We were put onto furlough March 21 when the pub closed its doors and I assumed we would receive the money on our usual pay day of the 10th (April). As this approached we were the sent the next email saying that they are waiting for HMRC to accept the claim and that we would not be getting the money on the 10th.

“After a few more weeks we received an email saying that they are still waiting on the acceptance and that there are huge delays with HMRC and that he wants us to now accept the last few months as unpaid leave or we no longer work for the company and seek employment elsewhere.

“Whatever they have been doing or not doing when it comes to correct procedures they have now left 177 people with no money and nothing but a threat of accept the unpaid leave or you can leave.”

Any employer with a UK payroll and a UK bank account could qualify for the scheme if they: could prove its employees couldn’t do their jobs due to the coronavirus measures, notified employees of their ‘furloughed’ status and submitted information to HMRC about furloughed employees.

Jason Tudor, also known as Henry Jason Tudor and previously as Jason Massingham, is the director of King Arthur Inns Ltd and 12 other companies such as Good Eats Welwyn Ltd amongst others.

He has been contacted for a response but has not replied.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Welwyn Hatfield Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Welwyn Hatfield Times